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Greys willing to be greener on World Environment Day

Over 50s are ‘hopeful, motivated and positive’ about tackling climate change as World Environment Day calls on people to Kick the CO2 habit.

A new survey, conducted by the University of York’s Stockholm Environment Institute, reveals the over 50s believe they are already being affected by climate change, and are willing to take action to reduce their carbon footprint.

The results of the survey are being published on World Environment Day – 5 June, which this year calls for international effort to achieve low carbon lifestyles.

Of the nearly 1,000 people surveyed 75 per cent feel that their region is already being affected by climate change – an increase of eight per cent compared with a survey conducted in 2006. Eight out of ten people (83 per cent) believe their grandchildren will face worse problems than we do, due to climate change.

Nearly 60 per cent of over 50s surveyed were ‘hopeful’ when it comes to tackling climate change while 85 per cent feel ‘motivated’ and 76 per cent ‘positive’. Almost eight out of ten people (78 per cent) feel it is partly up to them to take action to tackle climate change emissions. Women (83 per cent) are more willing to take personal action to reduce their carbon footprint than men (75 per cent). Those over 50s who believe climate change will happen sooner are more likely to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. However, those who perceived difficulty in taking action to reduce personal carbon emissions were less likely to take action.

The survey showed a change in attitudes to climate change in this age group compared with a similar survey in 2006. The over 50s are more ‘hopeful’, ‘enthused’ and ‘positive’ about climate change compared with two years ago. There is still a substantial (73 per cent) sense of frustration over action being taken to tackle climate change, though this is lower than in 2006 (81% per cent). A total of 95 per cent believe the UK government is responsible for taking action, while 91 per cent believe industry and business should act, and 84 per cent believe it is the responsibility of their local authority.

Dr Gary Haq, Climate Talk Co-ordinator said:

“People feel that they are now seeing the effects of climate change on their doorstep. The over 50s are more hopeful, enthused and positive about tackling climate change compared with two years ago. This is due to the increased awareness of what individuals can do to make a difference.

“However, the consistent high level of frustration shows that government, local authorities and business need to make more effort to make a low carbon lifestyle an easier and cheaper option for all, especially at this time of rising fuel and food costs.”

Dr Gary Haq | alfa
Further information:

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